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MANZINI – Bank accounts of former Siphofaneni Constituency MP Mduduzi ‘Gawuzela’ Simelane have been frozen.

Simelane, who is founder and President of the Swaziland Liberation Movement (SWALIMO), had his accounts frozen in an alleged bid to frustrate his ‘run’ from the law. According to sources, Simelane’s bank accounts were frozen after he was declared a fugitive from the law by government. The sources claimed that the move was instituted in a bid to frustrate his movements. The SWALIMO president also confirmed that his bank accounts were frozen. Simelane said: “Like they did on my passport issue, at least on the passport issue they declared openly as they said the Home Affairs has been instructed to do all they can to frustrate me (sic).”

Simelane said fortunately for him, when the move to freeze his bank accounts was made, some people tipped him off. The SWALIMO leader said he was lucky that he was always able to be ahead of the administration because almost all those working in strategic places were for the noble cause he had embarked on. He said it was always a moral obligation to them (workers in supposed strategic sectors) to give them a heads-up ahead of any act. “I was aware and I was able to act accordingly in time, hence there was minimal inconvenience. I salute our people back home for strategically supporting us in this battle through information sharing,” Simelane said. The former Member of Parliament (MP) said he was able to seek alternative means before the act (freezing of his accounts) was implemented. Simelane said he was not definite of the period when his bank accounts were frozen.


Meanwhile, Deputy Police Information and Communications Officer Inspector Nosipho Mnguni said: “The Royal Eswatini Police Service (REPS) knows nothing about it.” Mnguni had been sought for comment, to establish if the police had sought a court order that would freeze the accounts of the former legislator as he was a fugitive from the law. Meanwhile, sources claimed that the move to freeze the SWALIMO president’s accounts started when he went on self-imposed exile after he had been co-charged with incarcerated Hosea Constituency MP Mduduzi Bacede Mabuza and Ngwempisi Constituency MP Mthandeni Dube. The trio was charged after spearheading calls for political reforms from 2021, during a Parliament sitting. They spoke of the ideology outside Parliament, where it received support, mainly from the youth. The three legislators made calls that the premier should be elected by the people so that he could be accountable to them. It is currently the prerogative of the head of State to appoint the prime minister (PM), on the recommendation of the King’s Advisory Council, known as Liqoqo.

As the call for the election of the premier by the people intensified, the youth delivered petitions to various tinkhundla centres across the country. They mandated their respective MPs to support the three MPs who were calling for political reforms. Trouble started when the petition delivery was banned by the then Acting PM, Themba Masuku, who felt the gatherings at the tinkhundla centres violated COVID-19 regulations. Meanwhile, as law enforcers arrested the pair in MP Mabuza and MP Dube, the ex-Siphofaneni MP had a warrant of arrest issued against him; but he did not hand himself over to the law enforcers. Instead, Simelane left the country and this later resulted in Parliament invoking Section 98(1) (c) of the Constitution. His Parliament seat was declared vacant as he was absent from 20 consecutive sittings. The section invoked by Parliament reads: “The seat of a senator or of a member of the House shall become vacant where the holder is absent from 20 sittings of the chamber during any meeting of that chamber without the permission in writing of the presiding officer and is unable to offer a reasonable explanation to the Parliamentary Committee on Privileges.”